Friday, January 29, 2010

Remastered! in 3D! with 30% More Pointed Advice!

Can you believe this blog turns three years old in February? In blog years, that's what-- like, 50?

And as much as this blog would like to be a bouncy young thing, it's actually hugging its hot water bottle and trying to shake a touch of the winter blues.

So it's time for some reader feedback.

What would you like to see on this blog in year 4?
What do you like about the way this blog comports itself already, and what elements would be welcome additions to its repertoire?

Remember, reader participation is to blogs as sunshine and vitamins are to people. And this blog is really looking forward to springtime.

This blog promises to consider all suggestions, right after its nap.


Deirdre Mundy said...

Could you do something like Scalzi's "Big idea?" But with a kidlit focus? That would be AWESOME.....

Michael Grant said...

More nudity.

Occasional posts in Na'vi.

Drunk blogging.

An authoritative explanation of the difference between an editor-in-chief and executive editor.

Pizza for commenters.

Lauren Gallegos said...

I would like more advice for picture book illustrators who are just starting out. Thank you! I really enjoy reading your posts!

Alicia Padrón said...

I love this blog as it is. Honest, educational, entertaining, funny and always right to the point!

But, being the illustrator that I am, I would love to read more posts related to the illustrating side of the publishing world. Other than that, it's perfect.

Here's to 100 more blog years to come! (6 in regular years)

Hope I didn't wake you from your nap.. :o)

Anonymous said...

You just keep doing what you are doing. The honest advice, the straight talk, the humour. I love it all.

Wendie O said...

I have to say -- please keep on the way you have been. Yours is the first blog I turn to in the evenings. We don't have Miss Snark anymore, but you are an excellent replacement. Carry on.

Sam Hranac said...

I enjoy the pointy advice you have been dishing out. Keep it up!

Anonymous said...

I hate to sound like a fanboy, but I like your blog very much as it is, and one reason is that there are not a lot of wasted posts here. I, for one, would not to see a lot of mysterious contests and games (like the ones that made me stop reading Evil Editor), just keep up the good work.

Anonymous said...

Three Years! Thank you, EA, for your continued dedication, I know we are a collective pain in the butt sometimes...

As for content? I like it best when you answer reader questions, as I often learn things I didn't know I didn't know.

Might be nice if you talked about the editorial process, as well, in general or specific terms. What can writers do to make an editor's job easier, what are editor's pet peeves, what delights them, what is the best/worst thing about what they face in a day's work, etc... :)

Sqrt(D) said...

I've been reading regularly for the last several months. The posts are both informative and amusing. I'll continue to check and read as long as I'm online. said...

How to get an agent and how to get a publisher are covered by agent blogs and query-craft blogs. I'd enjoy seeing you address editorial and revision processes more. Things you can do in original drafting and revision to please the utlimate market -- the reader!

Why is it easier for your marketing and sales department to laydown copies of one book over another?

Our only door to an editor is through an agent. So, you know, agent blogs kind of cover everything you want to know about submissions.

Since you're an editor, I'd love to see more about the process once a book is acquired or at least once it is rep'd.

Or things such as how a writer might compose an original work that, gasp, doesn't need major revision of any kind.

What makes a publisher offer $250,000 for a book rather than $25,00? Well, you know.

You've done such a terrific job blogging (and so have others over the past year or two) that, frankly, query advice is old hat.

Tell me more about how to make a character sympathetic in revision, how to decide when a character is not needed at all in a novel. How can we decide what chapters to cut and what chapters to add BEFORE the book gets to you?

Lastly, I don't think you need much advice. This is a TERRIFIC Blog writhing with AWESOMENESS.

Liesl Shurtliff said...

I like the blunt answers, the no frills straight talk, the occasional meanness, even. Keep that please.

Also I liked the publishing myths contest. You should have more contests of the same nature, things like "worst premise for a picture book," (although I think the satanic ritual one takes the cake there.)

But the blog is great! Happy Three!

Nancy Coffelt said...

Look at me. I'm never first at anything - all sleeping in and such.

I'd like to see more of answering questions. Some of them I never knew I had until I saw them answered.

What editors are thinking and talking about is good too. It's like a secret inside look into the dark, I mean other side of things.

And kittens. You know, this blog is extremely light on kittens.

THE INTERN said...

INTERN loves the utter classiness of Editorial Anonymous. It looks classy! It reads classy! INTERN combs her hair before even looking at it!

Every time you post, it's something really well thought out and considered. And the responses to letters from readers are really interesting.

Perhaps you could start doing some really drunken, sloppy posts so readers don't get too comfortable with all the intelligence and classiness???

-INTERN who adores this blog

The Wicked Lady said...

I dunno -- this is one blog I feel is pretty much perfect. I like the visuals, the humour, the frequency. Don't mess with a good thing, I say.

Steve said...

I just discovered this blog, and I like it a lot the way it's been. It gives a fresh perspective.

My one request if for an amail subscription option. (This can be done via Feedburner which is now a free Google feature).

I sort have a kluge now from the LJ feed, but being able to see the blog text in my inbox would be more convient.


Victoria Kerrigan said...

Generally, more of the same, more often!

But apart from that... if you happened to know a fantasy editor who might come and do the odd column now and then, that would be awesome. They're hard to track down and squeeze opinions out of, those fantasy editors... no matter how much stalking I do. :-)

Melissa said...

Craft advice. More suggestions for intermediate-level writers.

Also, I hear that fancy new cars make middle-aged blogs feel younger. Especially red ones.

Jan said...

Every now and then, I'd love a peek at slush trends you're seeing. I know slush tends to look a lot like my student files -- suddenly everyone sends a cat story. Or suddenly everyone has talking crickets. If we knew what the "suddenly everyone sends" trend was, we could try not to be one of those folks (or have something tangible to suggest students not keep hammering away on that talking screwdriver story.)

Anonymous said...

Love the blog as-is EA. Really do! I wouldn't be disappointed if it continued on like it's been. You know, after its nap.

That said, I would love to see a post or a series of posts on contracts and contract negotiation for both the agent/author relationship (if you know much about it) and the agent/editor (agent?) relationship.

I know authors who've felt "trapped" (for lack of a better word) by certain clauses and agreements (particularly with multi-book deals) that they didn't fully understand before signing. Situations I think the average aspiring author is completely ignorant of.

We all hope to find an agent that can deal with this for us, and to our benefit, hopefully, but it would be nice to know more about the things we're leaving in our agents' hands. And, likewise, the things we're agreeing to when we sign with them (if there's a written contract).

Maybe it's only interesting to me?

Carry on!

Valerie said...

Well, this is my favorite blog just as it is, but I second what the other illustrators are saying: more advice for illustrators. I know you're an editor and not an AD, but we'd love to hear any tips you have for us.

Chris Wolfgang said...

Sometimes I feel it would be a blessing in everyday life for someone to just come along and say, "That won't work. That's a horrible idea. The people you're pitching to would have appreciated it better if you had done this."

And you deliver that.
Politeness doesn't always tell you much. But straight-talk doesn't waste a would-be writer's time!

MAGolla said...

Since running two blogs was too time consuming, why don't you feed bits and pieces of the anonymati blog crits onto this blog? Let us know what stops you from reading, what is different enough to keep you reading, and what you've seen overdone--On slow or off days, of course.

Ishta Mercurio said...

You have one of the most awesome blogs out there in the ethernet. I like the brutal honesty, the humor, and the variety.

I've noticed a heavy focus on YA and MG in the Blogosphere, and I'd like more that is relevant for me. I write primarily PB manuscripts and have learned that most agents are only interested in novels, so I'm in the position of needing to go directly to the editor. So I'd like more info for PB authors - not the basic stuff like whether you should try to illustrate it yourself (which you have already covered, and many thanks for that!), but the more subtle issues, like whether it's okay to send a manuscript with the query regardless of submission guidelines and why an editor might pass on a manuscript (other than the manuscripts that are about the spirit of their dead grandmother talking through them about the secrets of life, death, and stinky cheese).

You've blogged a lot about the really awful queries and submissions you've gotten, but I'd really like to hear about the good ones that you say "no" to anyway, and why you say "no". Where is the line between "pretty darn good" and "so awesome I have to say 'yes'"?

And contests for PB authors!

Happy third birthday!

Anonymous said...

You answered an anonymous question of mine and I'm very grateful for it. There's not much advice on the internets aimed at midlist authors, so thanks.

The illustrators want you to talk about illustrating more. I like it when you talk about writing.

shelley said...

Even tho it's on hiatus, are people still submitting first pages to the Anonymati? I just took a look there and there are 101 submissions. Yikes!

Hope Vestergaard said...

I like that you're frank and say things people at all stages of the process need to hear. The last post about complaining about one's publisher came across as a little more scold-y/emphatic than necessary. That's not your usual tone, but it gains more weight the longer it is the most recent post so -- when you feel the need to do the mostly negative posts, maybe you can make sure to post something a little more welcoming relatively soon. I tend to drift away from blogs that trend toward indignation. And in general -- more regular/frequent posts would be great. If you need material, say the word and the masses will ask. We appreciate your insight!

Katrina Germein said...

This blog is great. To readers like me it's still young and bouncy. Guess it's about finding a way to keep fun for you. I love it to bits.

Helen Robertson said...

One of the most useful things on this blog for me have been the various contests that are then posted with EA's incisive comments, like the ones for synopses and pitches. More of those kinds of things are always welcome, though I know that they take a lot more of your time, so I'm only saying...not demanding.

Speaking of's a link for a cool contest going on right now at Hurry if you want to enter.

sarah mccarry said...


Anonymous said...

Your reactions to actual first lines, first paragraphs, queries, etc. is incredibly helpful (and often entertaining!) I second Magolla when I wonder if you can take up some of the critiquing you did on the Anonymati site here -- throw a morsel to the hungry masses!

Haste yee back ;-) said...

Do you think this is a good first sentence for a PB book?

Come mornin,' the Old Snappin Turtle roared. "Ain't nothin, I likes better than a plump wiggly one. They taste so good tremendous, I wish I was my stomach!"

Haste yee back ;-)

bzyglowi said...

I'm going to join a few other people and say that as an illustrator, I'd like to see more advice on the picture side of things and especially advice for people looking to start out in children's books (which I am). I notice that there is tons and tons of advice out there for writers, but a lot less for illustrators, so that would be neat to see.

Haste yee back ;-) said...

Advice for Illustrators...

Try writing your own stories... seems the trend today is an all in one package, writer/illustrator.

Have a website featuring your work.

Send your portfolio samples, never originals, to illustration reps, especially those who feature PB's.

Take a trip to N.Y. City, show your portfolio to as many art dept. pub houses as'll let you thru their door.

Do illustrations, (pro-bono) for as many of the children's magazine as you can find.

Join SCBWI... network with local members if possible. Enter contests.

DO NOT quit your day job!

Haste yee back ;-)

Sergio Ruzzier said...

EA, your blog is wonderful the way it is. Since you're asking, I would love to read interviews with people in the business: editors, art directors, marketing people, booksellers, agents, etc. I'm sure you would ask unusual and embarrassing questions...



Cat said...

I am an editor for a UK educational publisher and have enjoyed reading your blog for quite some time: it's comforting to know that authors, freelancers and publishers are the same, regardless of what sector they're in!

I would just ask for more regular posts as I check your blog everyday (at work at least!) and always find it highly entertaining (usually followed by nods and comments of 'Yep, I know what you mean!')

Sherryl said...

While I love the sarcasm and forthrightness, I second what a couple of others have asked for - a little more for midlist authors. Nothing specific, but any general advice and observations about the current state of the industry is always useful, especially because we know you're being honest!

Anonymous said...

More contests, but mainly, more of the same, please!

Lauri said...

I'm fairly new to your blog, but I like it a lot. Hey, something keeps me coming back. The only thing I can say is, instead of adding more of something like some have suggested, how about adding less foul language?

Anonymous said...

Why not let us into your editing mind?

What things to do you look for in a ms when you are deciding to acquire it (besides love)? What are the most large picture edits you see missed time and time again in the ms you or your colleagues acquire? What are the lesser known ones? What are examples of those? How can they be fixed?

Give broad, general examples. Give detailed, nuanced examples. Pick books that have already been published. Picked examples from (names changed to protect the guilty) ms that you'd never acquire, and tell us why.

How do you shape your nagging concern over an X or Y part of a ms you've acquired into actual notes for that author to use to do revisions? How is it worded? What do you say? How do authors tackle that? What type of things can writers look for in their own work -- general or specific -- to make it stronger before it ever gets to you?

What are some of your favorite books -- kilit, adult, nonfiction -- from an editing standpoint, and why? What did book X or Y do so right, from your editor's eye, that made it such a standout?

Examples of how you edit, think about editing, how authors can impliment editing advice into their own work will help us edit our WIPs, which might improve it enough to land an agent and get published.

Not like you have to go all Query Shark on our ass for every post, but if I had an editor sitting across a table from me, I'd ask her about EDITING.

Christine Tripp said...

Have to chime in as well about a wish for more inside information on Editing and publishing PB's.
I am pretty sure EA that you Ed MG and YA? but if you have knowledge and an interest in PB's, I'd love to see more of that on the blog.
(Perhaps a PB submission contest?:)

The blog is wonderful! It can be funny, to the point, serious, ridiculous, helpful, infomative, entertaining but always, always worth tuning in (even when your not a writer:)
I just can't imagine starting my day without my EA fix!

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